Double-Take. Reading De Man and Derrida Writing on Tropes

In "Anthropomorphism and Trope in the Lyric," de Man argues that Nietzsche's sentence identifying truth as tropes takes on critical power through an anomaly in Nietzsche's list of rhetorical terms: "anthropomorphisms." Derrida's exploration in "White Mythology" of Aristotle's conceptualization of truth and metaphor reaches a similar conclusion: he finds among the premises identifying truth with language—Aristotle's inaugural figurations of metaphor and truth—a catachresis, one becomes not a trope but a proper name. In both essays, a surprising inflection of their rhetorical mode signals the discovery of such a disruption. Both Derrida and de Man associate these disruptions of an organized system of figures with Nietzsche—his texts' singular framing of the philosophical thought's tying together of trope and truth. The disruption reflects a possibility inhering in the configuration of trope and truth, tropes' passage into ideology.

Mitchell, "The Transcendental: Deleuze, P. B. Shelley, and the Freedom of Immobility"

Mitchell highlights the relevance of Deleuze for Romanticists and Romanticism by linking Deleuze’s reading of Kant to a reading of the role of rhythm in P. B. Shelley's poem 'Mont Blanc.' Mitchell argues that Deleuze's account of rhythm helps us to see 'Mont Blanc' as a poem that aims to moralize its auditors by suspending animation by means of rhyme, and to understand the state of suspended animation as one within which readers and listeners are able to isolate their capacities for sensation.

Mitchell and Broglio, "Introduction"

This volume summarizes and utilizes the arc of Gilles Deleuze's work while turning it toward Blake, Kant, Shelley, and Wordsworth. It serves both as a primer for those not familiar with the idiosyncratic vocabulary and concepts of Deleuze as well as a thoughtful intervention in Romantic criticism in order to open up new terrain on travel, the sublime, and the revolutionary. Contributors include David Baulch on representation and revolution in Blake's _America_, Ron Broglio on Wordsworth and the picturesque narrative of encounter, and Robert Mitchell on P. B. Shelley's sublime, with a responding essay by David Collings.

Baulch, "Repetition, Representation and Revolution: Deleuze and Blake's America"

The purpose of this paper is to explore specific ways Gilles Deleuze's Difference & Repetition provides a productive critical framework for thinking about revolution in William Blake's America a Prophecy and, in turn, the way that America's peculiar dramatization of revolution offers a specific political dimension to a Deleuzian ontology.

Broglio, "Wandering in the Landscape with Wordsworth and Deleuze"

I am interested in using Deleuze to 'flatten' Romanticism and deflate the humanist subject at its center. In place of the subject, I see the physicality of bodies and effects of environmental forces as significant agents. In a sense, Deleuze gives us a phenomenology but without the privileged interiority of the human subject.

Collings, "Rhyming Sensation in 'Mont Blanc'"

'Mont Blanc' anticipates the Deleuzean analysis of Kant in two key respects. It engages the sublime both on the level of its philosophical content and the mode of its articulation, drawing attention to the level of sensation in philosophical argument through its easily overlooked pattern of irregular rhyme. By dramatizing the violence of the sublime, which the embodied speaker must at once resist and accept, the poem also foregrounds a non-teleological, unresolved conflict of the faculties, effectively performing a Deleuzean intervention into the Kantian poetics of the sublime.

Theory and Practice: A Response to Arkady Plotnitsky

Romanticism and Complexity

Theory and Practice: A Response to Arkady Plotnitsky

R. Paul Yoder, University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Unlocking Language: Self-Similarity in Blake’s Jerusalem

In the first part of the essay, Yoder outlines John Locke's theory of language as it is presented in Book III of the Essay concerning Human Understanding. Locke identifies the flaws in language as obscurity and instability, and he offers a five-point plan to repair these flaws primarily by eliminating figurative language and limiting the meaning of words to what they have meant in the past. In the second part of the essay, focusing primarily on William Blake's Jerusalem, Yoder argues that Blake offers a theory of language contrary to Locke's theory, one in which language might be described as fractal, a term borrowed from chaos theory. In Blake's system, signfication expands and contracts across a sliding scale of analogous linguistic structures; the standard of these fractal iterations is the human form. Yoder also argues that this understanding of language helps to explain the problem of narrative in Blake's poem.

From the (Ever) Complex to the (Never) Simple: A Response to R. Paul Yoder’s "Unlocking Language: Self-Similarity in Blake’s Jerusalem"

Romanticism and Complexity

From the (Ever) Complex to the (Never) Simple: A Response to R. Paul Yoder’s "Unlocking Language: Self-Similarity in Blake’s Jerusalem"

Complexity and Order

Roberts argues that Romantic criticism's constantly renewed interest in scientific models of explanation and analysis can be best understood in relationship to Romanticism's own conflicted relationship with the scientific Enlightenment project. He further argues that contemporary sciences of chaos and complexity can seem particularly congenial for the Romantic critic in their questioning of the possibility of a deterministic account of the natural world. After describing some of the contradictions inherent in Romantic understandings of chance and indeterminacy, Roberts argues for Isabelle Stengers's concept of "resistance" as a useful conceptual framework for providing some common ground between scientific and humanistic modes of inquiry.